Sherrie Lee

Sherrie Lee is an English-Chinese bilingual and diasporic academic currently based in New Zealand. Sherrie’s research and personal goals converge in the desire to empower newcomers to navigate transitions in their social and cultural environments. Her research is concerned with multicultural and transnational communities, and utilizes sociocultural theories and multimodal analytical approaches. Sherrie thrives in collaborative environments where she is able to connect researchers across disciplines, and demonstrate how research can enrich various real life domains. Whether in research or teaching, she applies the indigenous Māori concept of manaakitanga or having the moral commitment towards building relationships on mutual trust and respect.


Originally from Singapore, Sherrie did her doctoral study at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Her PhD integrated theoretical frameworks in novel ways to understand informal academic learning practices of international students, resulting in a robust theory of brokering. Prior to doctoral studies, she completed her Master of Arts in Teaching (TESOL) at the University of Southern California, and did a narrative case study on the identity of a minority English language learner. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the National University of Singapore where she majored in English Language and Literature.


A CELTA trained teacher, Sherrie was formerly a business communications lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic in Singapore, and an English teacher in China. She has worked at the Singapore Mediation Centre as a conflict management trainer for business professionals and government representatives. In the early part of her career, she worked in corporate communications in the IT and creative sectors.


Sherrie has published widely in a range of disciplines, and won an ISANA International Education Association award for her paper “Seeking Academic Help: A Case Study of Peer Brokering Interactions” published in 2018 by Transitions: Journal of Transient Migration. She has convened symposia on topics related to international education, including a national symposium on the international student experience in New Zealand. She is part of the editorial board of Journal of International Students, and a conference abstract reviewer for NZARE, the New Zealand Association of Research in Education.


Sherrie is active in advocacy for international students, especially postgraduate students. She is a past president of, and current mentor to, the Postgraduate Students’ Association at the University of Waikato. She also serves as the secretary of ISANA International Education Association New Zealand, an association for professionals who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education. She is also a regional representative for the International Students and Study Abroad SIG of CIES (Comparative and International Education Society).


Sherrie’s future research goals are to promote culturally-relevant approaches in international education, and enhance emerging academics’ capabilities in transnational contexts. Using her research and professional networks, she personally envisions herself as a broker who facilitates collaborative dialogue between academics and practitioners across cognate disciplines.